Brance and I were first introduced to the benefits of coconut oil over two years ago. The first container that we bought was refined and very unlike the organic, unrefined coconut oil that we now use and have come to love. Although, the texture was the same, the aromatic coconut smell and flavor was absent in that first jar.
Here are four ways we are loving using coconut oil these days.
1. In cooking
One of the first ways we began using the coconut oil was in our cooking. Although it is a saturated fat, it has many healthful properties, including a safe higher cooking temperature, antimicrobial benefits, and, well, saturated fats aren’t terrible for us, after all. If you use the unrefined oil, which I highly recommend, you may have to grow accustomed to the coconut flavor. It works nicely in desserts and I hardly notice it anymore in other dishes we us it in. But not at first. It may take a couple of times of cooking with coconut oil before you are used to the subtle coconut flavor.
Coconut oil can replace other oils in recipes. I especially recommend using it in place of the less healthy canola and vegetable oils. But you can even substitute it for olive oil, especially when you plan to cook at higher temperatures. Because it solidifies at temperatures 76 degrees and above, this oil will not work well all the time, like if you are making a vinaigrette dressing. But for most other things, including making mayonnaise, this oil is great option. We use it for stir-frying vegetables, pan-searing chicken and fish in our iron skillet, oven-roasting vegetables and meats, in pancakes and waffles, etc. The possibilities are endless. Although, for certain recipes, you may have to heat it, similar to melting butter, to work it into your recipe.
2. As a facial moisturizer
This use may make you a little nervous. The thought of slathering my blemish-prone face with oil made me uncomfortable at first, too. But I have found that it works REALLY well to help keep my face soft, especially in the very dry New England winters. And it doesn’t leave your face excessively greasy if done in a certain way. I know some people use coconut oil in the place of face soap and that is great if it works for them, it just doesn’t work well for me that way. I don’t do this every day, but here is how I use coconut oil in my face-care routine, when I do. It’s so simple!
- I wash my face once a day in the evening before bed. After washing my face, I take a small amount of coconut oil (like in the picture above – it will be more than you realize!) and massage it into my face. You can leave it to sit a bit and really soak in, if you like. Afterwards, I take a tissue and gently wipe away any extra oily residue. This keeps my face perfectly moisturized and not “greasy”.
- In the morning I don’t wash my face (I have already washed it before bed). I simply repeat the coconut portion of my bedtime routine, rubbing in more oil and gently wiping the extra with a tissue. I do wear makeup and I have found that it is important to dab away any excess oil so that my face looks slightly dewy instead of oily with my foundation.
3. As a replacement for lotion
Here again it really doesn’t require much coconut oil to coat your skin. I take out a small portion and allow it to soften in the palm of my hand before rubbing it on my body. I especially love massaging it into my feet before putting on socks during the day and at night before bed. It makes them SO soft! And having antimicrobial effects, it helps fight foot odor too, a definite win-win.
It is always wonderful to find a natural occurring substance to replace all those chemically laden bath and body products we use. Long before we slathered our bodies in lotion, people used oils to naturally soften their skin. Coconut oil by far is my favorite with its subtle nutty scent (don’t worry, you won’t smell like you are about to go tanning, it smells different/better), it’s antimicrobial properties, and it’s stability (it is less likely to go rancid than other oils).
4. For oil pulling
This one is fairly new to me. Brance is the one who first got me into oil pulling. It is not something I do all the time, but when I do, I have observed that my teeth are noticeably whiter! And supposedly, it also helps remove toxins from your body, especially when done first thing in the morning before eating. Whether or not it does the latter, I HAVE noticed that my mouth feels much fresher the mornings that I do oil pull. Like I don’t even feel the need to brush, although I usually still do.
It’s super easy to do. Here is how you can oil pull…
- Put a heaping tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth and let it “melt”, without swallowing.
- Swish the oil in your mouth for 15 – 20 minutes and…
- Read a book or check A Life Enjoyed 🙂
- Spit in the trash.